Tampons are something that every woman is intimate with, yet most of us rarely think about the materials used to make them. I know I didn’t until Seventh Generation, the company my husband helped start, began selling organic feminine care products a few years ago. That’s when I started reading the labels on tampons and pads.
Most tampons are made from materials that include conventional cotton, rayon or a blend of both. Conventional cotton is one of the of the largest users of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in the United States. According to the USDA, in 2003 U.S. cotton farmers applied 55 million pounds of pesticides to their fields. Many of these are considered “extremely or highly hazardous” by the World Health Organization, and have been linked to immune system malfunctions, altered hormonal activity and reproductive disorders. Rayon also needs to be put under a microscope. The wood pulp that is used in most rayon is typically bleached with chlorine dioxide. This manufacturing process can result in the creation of chlorinated toxins, which can accumulate in the environment over time.
The good news is that there are alternatives. Seventh Generation, among other companies, makes tampons using 100% certified organic cotton that has not been bleached with chlorine dioxide. Consider that the average woman uses up to 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. This alternative seems like a very smart choice for your health and for the environment. Please make it for yourself and encourage your daughters, sisters and friends to do the same.
For more information on Seventh Generation’s organic cotton feminine care products, please visit www.seventhgeneration.com.